Bicycling has been a pastime for well over one hundred and fifty years. Throughout the many iterations of bicycles, however, one thing has remained more-or-less the same: it can be a dangerous hobby. With no airbags, no insulation from shock, and nothing between you and the road, a cycling accident can spell disaster for your back. Keeping in mind that the most common injuries are sustained by the head– which is why you should always wear a helmet—what type of back injuries can occur in a bike accident?
1) Damage to ligaments
Ligaments in your ankles, knees, and shoulders can be damaged. Depending on how you fall, you will have different side effects. When injured, ligaments receive less blood flow to the muscle, causing them to heal at a slower rate. This means a longer time healing from the injury. With serious injuries it is always advised for you to see a back pain doctor Rockville MD trusts as soon as possible. This can prevent more pain down the line.
A sudden fall or collision may not always break bones, but it can surely do a number on our muscles. Sore muscles or spasms can occur when a muscle is strained, or sprained, either from overuse or from an accident. The latissimus dorsi muscle is the largest muscle in the body, and it contributes to our ability to move our arms up and down. When this muscle is sprained or strained… yes, you’ve got it: this will impair our free movement. Atrophy is also a risk from sprains, no matter the muscle. We would not want to let this specific muscle, however, lose its strength. Gentle assisted stretching and flexing of the muscle as it heals will help keep our range of motion. Moving your arms slowly above your head, elbows straightened, will provide some gentle stretching as the muscle heals.
3) Spinal fractures
A bike accident can differ much depending on the circumstances. In the case of a motor vehicle accident, there are many variables. If you are side-swiped, the injuries can affect your mid back, with possible injuries to your ribs and, in extreme circumstances, even a punctured lung. Alternatively, if you fall from your bike, you may damage your tailbone and your hip. The area of impact in a bicycle accident can change the damage dramatically.
Stretching and strengthening are the two components that can really alleviate your pain, and careful attention to these muscle groups will allow you to continually assess how your body is feeling after an accident. This can help you avoid further pain in the long term. Something that seems like a small issue, such as poor posture, can lead to rounded shoulders and contribute to kyphosis, or an abnormally curved spine. If there is a lack of emphasis on strengthening your muscles now, this can contribute to more pain in the future.
A car accident can inflict many systemic injuries, but with knowledge and consistent practice, you can stem the onset of pain. Of course, the best way to ensure relief from chronic pain is by visiting a specialist that can cater to your exact needs.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Advanced Spine & Wellness Center for their insight into neck injuries.